Happy Poems   Thursday, December 12, 2019

happy poems


too little

too much

too far
to end of the day

not a morning
or grand

in the sonic glow
of mourning doves

on the cheek
of sleeping lovers



happy poems

Standard stuff. Short. Involving myself in another creative effort, cutting time for this one short.

happy poems

best friends forever

brothers of all brothers

shackin' up

about the straight and narrow

Paul Durcan

onward and upward

in the moment

Dorothea Mathews
The Lynching

Helen Johnson
The Road

about a poem by Alberto Blanco

sustained by the memory

Six haiku

in the time of emergence

best friends forever

my wife
goes to church
on Sundays

I go to
and think heretical

the reason

most likely

she'll be in

in the end

and I'll be
downstairs with
my best

all brothers of all brothers

its true,
I talk to my animals

even Reba
who can't hear me
but she can see my lips move

and know
she's on my mind, like the blind cat
knows she's not alone in the dark

when I stroke her head as I pass,
like the friendly nod
I exchange with people

I pass on the street
because we all need to know we are not
alone in the dark -

such an acknowledgement
of our shared passage we should
pass on to the creatures around us -

balm to repair the primordial weld that has bound us all
since creation, the weld that is separating now
as all become remote from the others...

if you believe in a god, remember he created us all
as part of his plan and it is not our place
to redraw the blueprints of his creation;

if you do not believe in a god,
remember instead
that we are all creatures at base

of common offspring, basic elements
that give us,
as our relatives,

the snake, the bird, the fish in the ocean
the lion in the field, our neighbors
across the fence, the daffodil growing

wild as any creature on the meadow,
the earth beneath our feet,
and the stars that shine overhead

all brothers of all brothers
in our most basic

shackin' up

like the joke
about waking up in the morning

and finding someone
who shouldn't be there
in the bed next you - that's

my deaf old dog
waking up several mornings
in the past couple of weeks to find

blind cat
snuggled up next to her
on her bed - such a shock to all

her canine friends
if they knew
about this feline cohabitation, but

old dog is of an even
not likely to demonstrate

a prejudice against any kind, even
the feline kind,
so her response is limited to a deep sigh

a great rolling of her caramel brown eyes
and a quick return
to the early morning dreams of an old dog

with fading memories
of rabbits and squirrels and green pastures
and woods rife with the smell of mystery upon

mystery yet undiscovered
and blind cat
unable now, with the fragility of age,

to make the leap onto my lap,
but seeking still
warmth on a cold night

and the slow-breathing whisper
of a companion's sleeping,
settles for such comfort as she can find

in the dark night-wandering, happy
to settle into the wrap
of a kindred soul, for fur knows fur

and the once wild essence of the furred kind
knows it's skin
in whatever form it may currently reside...


nature is allowed to find its balance
in my house,
as long as a little corner is left for me

pleased to be a smooth-skinned
to all the furred or feathered kind

that do not
or poop on the carpet

about the straight and narrow

there's nothing wrong
with considering alternate possibilities

doesn't necessarily mean
with your current state of affairs

(I say that to avoid
any martial tension that might
over this little
exercise in creatively imagining
to the present what is and the past what was
and the prefect future what will always be,
I promise)

it's just a natural curiosity
about the life that might come
from stepping off the path,

nothing radical,
not like buying a red convertible
sports car, or running off to Acapulco
with the blond at the coffeehouse

must a little step this way,
a step or two that way,
and all the things that are
your life, might not be
anymore, might be something
of maybe slightly
or maybe not at all different

that's a question
for the philosopher -
how much of what is was
always to be, how much different
can a life be from what it was set out to be
at its beginning,
how many of the decisions
we make from cradle to grave
were made for us before we ever
even groped for the first time
for mother's nipple

such questions are for deeper thinkers
than this minor poet,
tickling, at best, little ideas
from smaller questions than
deep-thinking thinkers
will ever spend their time thinking about

like I just want to know
about small results from minor forays
off the mostly boring straight and an narrow
my life is,
with minimal attention,
lumbering along

what if I took a bit of exercise
daily, would I  become grossly healthy,
with low blood sugar and cholesterol,
mean and lean
and tanned and lovely and able to eat
coconut cream pie whenever I felt like it,
or what if I completely shaved my head and
presented my body to a skin artist
of the highest quality for their most
beautiful work, would I immediately attract
the carnal intentions of long-legged
similarly inked motorcycle
mamas with large breasts and dainty
ears that listen to my every word,
attendant to my every perverted
desire, like (don't tell anyone) midnight
of acrobatic sexual antics atop
the Germanly studly roof
of a 49 Volkswagen

with just a little exercise
every day
would Nobel Prize-winning professors
from all the major centers of learning
throughout then world friend me
on Facebook and contact me regularly
for up-to-the-minute updates on how
the cow
ate the cabbage,
sould I win the lottery, would my local bank
contact me, apologizing for all the mistakes made
in my checking account for the past 35 years
and agree to credit my account with the millions
upon millions of dollars mistakenly deducted
because of the checks I wrote for the purchase
of stupid things that broke upon expiration
of its warranty or other things that made me
fat and old?

to the point,
would any of that or even
anything remotely like that
happen if I were to take one tiny step
off the pathway of my settled life
to do something entirely or slightly different,
something that didn't require
any great effort
on my part?

if not,
just forget about it

This poem is by Irish poet, Paul Durcan, from his book Greetings to Our Friends in Brazill, published by The Harvill Press in 1999.


Walking at evening in Saudi Arabia
On the outskirts of Mecca,
on the shore of the reservoir,
In tropical suit, collar and tie,
I was startled to see pull up ahead of me
A white car with amber beacons on its roof,
An array of black aerials,
Blue words on its door panels in English and Arabic -
Highway Patrol.
The moment of truth I have been dreading all my life.
Although I am guilty of nothing, I fill up with guilt.

A small, dark, lean man jumps out of the driving seat.
He is wearing neither keffiyeh nor jellaba
But an undersuit of blue jeans and a white blouse.
He cries: Stop - are you Irish poet?
I admit I am Irish poet. He cries"
We are International Security - Highway Patrol.
Our obligation is to protect king's swordsman
Who tomorrow has one beheading on plate.
We like to see your Visa Card number and Expiry Date.

A small, squat, ladylike gentleman climbs out
Of the back of the car and proffers a gilt-edged
Notebook with a Ball Pentel pen. He indices -
With a curved gesture of his left arm -
He would like me to stand on the far side of the car
Out of sight of the young men in the nearby tent.
He murmurs - staring out at the middle of the reservoir -
"This is a good place to commit suicide"

The driver, standing the other side of me,
Puts his hand on my shoulder.
"What we like to do,
Is to reflate inflatable dummy.
It is finished, over, kaput, accounted for.
Meantime we have one beheading on plate.
Thank you for your co-operation. Please always
Remember that you are in Mecca. Goodnight"

onward and upward

and upward
that's the mantra

we learned
at our mother's knee,
be all that you can be, we're told

but what if we're
as "on"
and as "up" as we want to be?

if we find ourselves completely

only 73% of what we could


a lot of things
could change and that'd be

 I wouldn't mind being

but I'd be just as happy
staying just as I

220 or so,
I can live with that -
I don't need to be 180 again

like the chart says
I should be to be happy...
and I don't mind getting older

so much
as long as I can avoid getting

I figure I'm about as smart
as it's safe for me to be -

no telling
what kind of crazy ideas
I might get

if I were smarter,
probably turn out to be one of those evil

the superheros
and almost don't defeat

the last ten minutes of the
last reel

so I think I should just stay as smart
as I am -

best in the long run
for all of us)...

and I'm happy
with the automobile
I drive

I've driven better,
I've driven a lot more worse, too,

and the house
I live in,
though a smaller place

would suit me just fine,
maybe with more land where
I could take my red Chevy pick-up to the feed store

for bird seed and
squirrel feed, and post hole diggers
and drive a small

and yodel
and have periodic rolls in the

hey, that's an idea,
why would anyone all the time

want to be onwarding
and upwarding and being all they can

when what they already be
suggest possibiliti4es
for periodic rolling in the hay

followed by yodeling
in the back

as we say
behind the barn

in the moment

weather gurus
promising triple digits
all week, dry, sun like a welder's torch...

remembering now
at the early
dawn of this day when I was a kid
and summer was a playground...

20 mile bus rides
to Val Verde for an afternoon
in the giant pool at the mansion
that once belonged to Tom Mix,
fifteen cents for the bus ride
back in the day when people knew
who Tom Mix used to be...

playing soldier
in the  potato field behind
my house, building forts
out of the big dirt clods turned up
by the farmer
with his tractor, piling them
one on top of the other
like building blocks,
high enough to hide behind
with a carefully selected
pile of smaller clods for ammunition,
advance, retreat, advance,
just like our guys in Korea...

best of all,
the old three-story
high school
a couple of blocks down the street,
with the metal fire escape,
climb and slide,
climb, climb,
and slide,
the sheet metal slide
burning like fire from the afternoon sun,
climb and slide,
going home butts afire,
tired, ready for dinner, ready
for bed after Fibber McGee
on the radio,
and the Shadow who knew
all that others could not,
and the creaking door of the Inner
Sanctum, too scared to listen,
too scared to go to bed...

dreams of summer,
that stick, moments
that stuck, something to think about
this afternoon
when I'm laying bricks,
building retaining borders
to stop erosion in my
steep-sloping back yard,
the heat of the day, acknowledging
transition, once winter,
now summer,
once young, now old,
making moments to remember
at work
and at play

Next, I have poems by two poets from the anthology, Shadowed Dreams, subtitled, "Women's Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance," published by Rutgers University Press in 1989.

The first poet is Dorothea Mathews. Oddly, the book includes no biography on this poet. The only note I could find on the web is a single line identifying her as a poet of the Harlem Renaissance.

The Lynching

He saw the rope, the moving mob,
And suddenly thought of quiet things,
The way the river-ripples sob,
The silver flight of pigeon's wings
Free in the blue September air,
And that the night was warm and brown -
Under the trees shadows hung;
The little stars of God looked down.

     (from Opportunity - April, 1928)

The second poet I selected from the anthology is Helene Johnson. Born in 1907 and raised in Boston. She attended Boston University and Columbia University. Though little information is available about her life, she was very active in the literary scene in both New York and Boston. Published in every major journal and anthology of her day, she last appeared in print in 1934. As of the 1960s she was living in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

The Road

Ah, little road, all whirry in the breeze,
A leaping clay hill lost among the trees,
The bleeding note of rapture-streaming thrush
Caught in a drowsy hush
And stretched out in a single, singing line of dusky song.
Ah, little road, brown as my race is brown,
Your trodden beauty like our trodden pride,
Dust of the dust, they must not bruise you down,
Rise to one brimming golden, spilling cry!

(from Opportunity - July 1926; The Book of American Negro Poetry - 1931)

about a poem by Alberto Blanco

I was reading a poem
by a Mexican poet, a poem
he titled "Quantum Theory,"
describing the beauty and intricacy
and easy unbelievability of something
so complicated we can describe it only
in cartoons, like cave drawings
of stick-figure gods that blessed the hunt

and after all his description
and metaphor he ends his poem

"And is this not poetry?"

and I think, oh my god, yes, this is
poetry of the world, poetry of the real,
poetry of the essences of all and I think
of the light little drivels I write and call
my poetry and wish I could be the poet
I claim to be and write such beautiful
words about the beautiful core
and quintessences of life, in the world,
and in our hearts, where, if anywhere
quantum theory shapes the contours
of our passage and the base foundations
of the creature we are and could be, the
beautiful and intricate and hardly believable
truth that is you; truth that is

sustained  by the memory

I was a tree

and before that
a flower

and blue

ever in the wind

and before that
a wind-borne weevil

in a loaf of bread
at the day-old bread store

on the corner of Madison
and Monroe

and before that
a grain of wheat

that made the flour
that made the bread

that my weevil-self
dined on

and before that tiny gem
of wheat

I was the rich

that grew the wheat
from a small seed

in my worm-crawling

and before I was the womb

of earth
I was a nitrogen bubble

that fell from an exploding

to prepare the womb
that grew the wheat that

made the flour
that fed the weevil

that hatched from an egg
in the shelter of the blue overhanging

that grew beneath the tree

that was me
before the me of this old man

so tired and tired
but sustained by the memory

that once I was a

Last from my library for this short post, several haiku by Basho (1644-1694), one of the masters of the form from Haiku, Classic Japanese Short Poems, published by Chartwell Books in 2016. The poems were translated by Hart Larrabee.

The crane's legs
grow shorter in the 
Early summer rain

The oak tree
Stands unswayed
By blossoms


An old pond -
The splash of 
Plunging frogs


Winter sun -
Astride my horse
A frozen shadow


Of its approaching death
The cicada speaks
Not a word


Even loathsome crows
Are transformed by
Morning snow

in the time of emergence

an old Navajo chant
speaks of the "the time of emergence"
and I think
of the all-there-is emerging,
not a product
created by the hand of a god,
but a creation
that emerges from the mind of
the all-mother/all-father,
creation not of a single event,
not a job of work, completed
over the course of a week of seven god-days,
but a continuing process
of never-ending creation, a creation-flow,
an emergence of ever-deepening truth,
like the night emerges
and from the night a day emerges
and from the day a night,
like the sea
emerges from the deep, breaks
on shores far
from where its water-essence
then returns to the ever-changing deep that sent it,
and back again to the same or different shores,
far-traveled, enriched by its journey,
like rain on hay
left in the field over night,
the fire of creation
processing within, its
musty odor rising again
with the fallen rain to become a cloud,
drifting over continents,
over prairies and mountains and cities
and great forests, across the oceans
bringing the musty smell of wet hay
with new-falling rain
around the world and back again
to the mowed field where it began;
like we begin
in a moment of passion emerged
from one of us to another
then the continued emergence
through a life of ins and outs, comes
and goes, contributing, as we come and go
our own passions to the universe
we are part of again, flowing through our time
until our end in a moment of
death-ecstasy, souls singing
as we rejoin the all-there-is
from whence we came

our part
of the great
until we, like the sea,
return to new and different,
by our own time drifting
in the creator's
emerging conscious

I appreciate hearing from readers. Although they do not appear here, your comment,, if you choose to make them is available to me. So feel free to pass on any reaction, comments, or opinions by clicking on the "comment" button below.

As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me

Also as usual, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of this blog, and a not so diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad


New Days & New Ways

Places and Spaces 

Always to the Light

Goes Around Comes Around

Pushing Clouds Against the Wind

And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio

Seven Beats a Second


Sonyador - The Dreamer


  Peace in Our Time


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